Boxing event draws all kinds

Blanca Zubia, 13, of Hobbs, cheers for her cousin, Israel Villegas, during his fight in the 58th Annual New Mexico State Golden Gloves boxing tournament Saturday at Roy Walker Recreation Center. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer

Rosemary Jimenez, a 49-year-old Clovis resident, looked like she got lost on her way to a book club or a needle-point meeting.

There she was, a big smile on her face, watching people punch each other.

“This is the first time I’ve come out to this,” she said. “I used to watch boxing with my dad, when I was younger, on TV. It’s interesting. I just watch for the moves.”

A standing-room-only crowd watched the semifinals of the 58th annual New Mexico Golden Gloves boxing tournament on Saturday at the Roy Walker Community Center.
Jimenez attended with her family.

“We used to go to different things together when they were growing up,” she said, referring to her children. “It’s something fun to do.”

Joel Jass, a 15-year-old from Clovis, is more your typical boxing fan.

“I like to see people fight,” Jass said. “They make each other bleed.”

Jass watched with some of his friends. He said he was there to support some of the local fighters he knew.

Michael Schwartz, 19, and Scott Christen, 20, said saw one of the event’s promotional tools while driving.

“We saw it on a barrel on the sidewalk,” Christen said. “So we decided to check it out.”

Christen said he likes boxing, but doesn’t watch it very often. Afterall, the Golden Gloves comes only once a year, and it costs to watch the best fights on TV.

Schwartz said he used to box, and it gave him a respect for the sport.

“I liked it,” Schwartz said. “But I couldn’t stick with it. I couldn’t put the time in it.”

Saturday’s event featured 11 fights ranging from 10- and 11-year-olds to adults.

Schwartz said the older classes are the best to watch, but he likes watching the younger kids because they are so dedicated.

“I think it’s good for them,” he said. “It gives them something to work at. If you stick with it, who knows what could happen? These kids show a lot of potential, and they’re not scared.”